By The Daily Item
Luke Rarig is Southern Columbia's Swiss Army knife, starting in all three phases of the game, but his impact on the field is more like a Samauri sword.
In Friday's district semifinal against Bloomsburg, the junior made three difficult catches -- one on each of the Tigers' first three possessions -- to set up two touchdowns and what should have been a third (Southern lost a fumble in the end zone for a touchback).
Each reception was more difficult than the one previous, starting with a 27-yard gain in traffic on a third-and-20 play and ending with another 27-yard grab, high over a pair of Panthers.
"He's done that throughout the year," said Southern Columbia coach Jim Roth. "He's had the athleticism that, when he's covered or there's people around him, he's been able to go up and get the ball and take it away. He's been a heck of a football player on both sides of the ball."
In the second half, Bloomsburg's Ricky Klingerman hit Colby Klingerman for a 27-yard touchdown on a quick slant to pull the Panthers within 21-14.
Rarig knocked away a similar pass on the Panthers' next series, a third-and-6 throw that was ticketed for the end zone when he dove to nick the back end of the ball. Two minutes later, the Tigers went ahead 35-14.
Rarig also made all six extra-point kicks he attempted.
n BALL CONTROL
Southern Columbia fumbled the ball four times in the first half Friday, losing one. The Tigers were fortunate that was the extent of the damage as at least two others appeared to have Panthers right on top of the plays.
"When you're not playing your 'A' game, that's when you have the turnovers and put the ball on the ground," said Roth. "We haven't put the ball on the ground like that ... Whew! I can't remember the last time we had that many problems handling the ball."